National Colloquium on Library Special Collections at Kelvin Smith Library, CWRU, on October 21-22

Organized by: Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve University
Presented in collaboration with: River Campus Libraries at University of Rochester,
Vanderbilt University and Washington University in St. Louis Libraries

For more information, email or call (216)368-2992.

For most of their history, academic library special collections concentrated on the cultivation, acquisition and preservation of gifts. Particularly because of the advent of digitization, over the last ten-to-fifteen years there has been an increased emphasis on increasing local and international exposure and access to special collections. While many libraries have been focusing efforts to increase significantly the exposure of their collections to a wider audience, there are still many special collections that are not yet fully discovered.

This national colloquium will explore some of the factors that governed the growth and use of special collections of the past, as well as current and emerging challenges for special collections in the future. How can libraries and university faculty work together to educate students to become more aware of the hidden treasures that are available on their own campuses, and to gain a lifelong appreciation for them? How can collections from individual institutions work together to create a robust whole from the parts?  How can scholars, libraries, potential donors, and collectors come together to forge new partnerships to employ these valued collections to advance knowledge and scholarship—particularly in a digital age? This colloquium will be a seminal event in acknowledging the historic strengths of special collections of the past, and for speakers and participants to chart a course for the next decade and beyond.

The program will begin mid-day on Tuesday, October 21, and conclude at the end of the day on Wednesday, October 22. Throughout the colloquium, attendees will be encouraged to enrich the dialog through a variety of means, including question-and-answer and talk-back sessions during the moderated discussions, placing post-it notes with comments on a designated board, and electronically expanding the dialog via Twitter feeds and a conference blog. The thoughts of the attendees will be compiled and summarized during the colloquium.

This program should be of great interest to senior library administrators, special collections librarians, serious book collectors, scholars (including faculty and students), and rare book and manuscript booksellers and auctioneers.

Click here for registration details!

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